'Human waste, intimidation and dogs running riot' - Residents scared to leave homes after travellers set up at Worksop park
Residents living near a Worksop park which has recently been occupied by travellers say they are terrified to leave their homes due to ‘intimidating’ and ‘abusive’ behaviour.
The residents also say the recreational field at Farr Park has been ‘desecrated’ with bags of rubbish and ‘human excrement’ strewn around after about 30 caravans arrived at the spot over a week ago.
One resident, who lives nearby and did not wish to be named, said: “I could go on for hours and you wouldn’t believe me. We’ve had fighting, someone set fire to a tree and there is human waste all over the field.
"One resident who has a disability was mocked by traveller children and there are dogs running wild all over the site, including one black and white spaniel that appears to be just lying there in its own mess.
“A neighbour knocked on the door of a caravan to confront the group about the dog, but was told to mind their own business, to put it politely.
"We’ve contacted Bassetlaw District Council, the RSPCA and the police but feel they have all let us down.
"One lovely police officer has been carrying out patrols, but apart from we’ve been told this is not an emergency.
“It makes you scared to even put your lights on at night. I haven’t slept since the travellers arrived and another neighbour, who is elderly, is ill with it all – she’s a complete bag of nerves."
Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, Councillor Simon Greaves, said the situation was ‘frustrating’ for residents and that the authority was taking legal action to regain possession of the land.
“This encampment is unauthorised and constitutes an act of trespass,” he added.
"There is a set legal route that the Council has to follow in order to regain possession of the land.
"Council officers served notice on those occupying Farr Park last week asking them to move on, but this was ignored.
"Papers were then submitted to the court and we now have a court hearing later in the week where we will seek a court order for possession of the land.
"If this is not complied with, then the court bailiff will be required to enforce the order.
“Concrete bollards were removed from Farr Park car park in order to gain access and that further bollards have been removed from Spring Walk.
“The Council did attempt to replace these bollards, but contactors were unable to safely carry out these works.
“We have requested a police presence and will reattempt the installation of the bollards.
"Whilst we are receiving a number of complaints from residents, issues concerning illegal activity should be reported to Nottinghamshire Police.”
Councillor Nigel Turner, newly-elected Nottinghamshire County Councillor for Worksop South ward, said: “As a county councillor I have no sway here.
"But very quickly after the people started to arrive, a week last Sunday evening, I received messages of concern from worried members of our community.
"On Monday morning I spoke to Bassetlaw District Council, they were aware of the situation and working on it.
"It is so unfair to the many old and vulnerable residents whose day-to-day lives have been negatively impacted upon. Many will not leave their homes.”